From learning aboriginal techniques of starting fires and having your garden soil samples tested to taking better photos on a smartphone or scaling a bouldering wall, the University of Cumbria’s first Ambleside Showcase is set to provide a day of free fun for families and visitors alike.
The Ambleside campus is throwing open its facilities on Saturday, 27 April.
Professor Lois Mansfield, campus director, is inviting visitors of all ages to head to the Rydal Road site to join in a host of free interactive activities, events and talks that are taking place.
Organisers are confident that there will be something to suit every taste, whether you’re interested in art, poetry, history, geology, the outdoors, sustainability or even saving lives.
Activities include a 4km circular walk, mindfulness sessions, a climbing wall, and a puzzle trail.
Discovery sessions scheduled include film and media opportunities, den building and learning what it takes to be a teacher, what research degrees are available at the university, and recycling litter into art.
There’s also an opportunity learn CPR or the chance to take up sports injury screening and prevention sessions from university academics and experts.
Parts of the campus not usually open will also be offering up a treat. A hands-on exhibition of historical mountaineering artefacts will be on display as will a collection of paintings, charcoal wall drawings and items relating to the teacher training pioneer Charlotte Mason, who founded her House of Education on the campus site back in 1892, and Lake District artist Fred Yates who befriended American president Woodrow Wilson.
Professor Mansfield said: “We’re delighted and proud to be hosting our first Ambleside Showcase for visitors and residents to come along and enjoy the vast array of unusual and exciting activities we’ve lined up. Whether you’re into art, history, walking in the Lake District, or just want to see what goes on here at the campus, there’s something for everyone.
“It will allow people to explore the campus and learn about the work of the university, the courses, programmes and facilities open to students of all ages and backgrounds, whilst discovering more about the impact and influence that this young institution and its experts have nationally and across the world.
“Thanks to our partners including the Heritage Mountain Trust, National Trust, Field Studies Council and others who are supporting us in hosting this wonderful showcase.”
Explorer and broadcaster Paul Rose, an honorary fellow of the university, is supporting the day and will be giving an afternoon talk ‘My Cumbria – what does it mean to me and its value to the wider world’, for which places in the Percival Theatre on campus can be booked online prior to the event.
Alex McCroskie, from the National Trust, will also be explaining what benefits being a World Heritage Site brings to the Lake District and its communities.
Parking will not be available on campus. Organisers ask that visitors attending the event use public transport or other sustainable means to reach the campus or, alternatively, use local car parks.
The Ambleside Showcase comes less than three weeks after HRH The Prince of Wales visited the campus to take part in a debate about future land management in the Lake District.
Full details of the Ambleside Showcase can be found here.